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Savvyone tip: Partnerships among small businesses

Many of today's headlines show large businesses combining forces by merging or sharing services to make an overall better experience for their similar customer bases. For instance, Yahoo and Yelp forged a relationship to offer reviews on search results. Small businesses may find that this strategy is applicable to them too. Partnerships don't have to be legal agreements, but could simply be referrals to work with one another exclusively to improve each other's business offerings.

For me, I always enjoy working with professionals that are related to the wedding industry. Overall, working with planners and photographers are great fits for officiant service providers because they can provide leads or improve the client's experience. There are many potential vendors that work within a wedding, so you may be able to have many referral partnerships that can blossom into greater revenue for everyone. This could be true in many sectors, like law and medical fields as well. Both potentially share clients to grow their practices.

To initiate a partnership relationship you should attempt to cross-promote each other. This can be by having business cards at your location or including details in your brochure. Be sure to confirm some basic information like minimum pricing when promoting to ensure that referrals are more likely worthwhile. Have samples, testimonials or portfolio examples to peruse makes for enhanced cross-promotion results. Doing this for each other for free is a good idea, but it is not an awful idea to charge a small fee, if one business doesn't have a way to cross-promote your business equally.

In summary, small businesses in Miami may have an unique blend of international methods of promotion. Passing out cards in the street is something I never saw on a large scale until coming to Miami. I must say, this aggressive method can have some results. Perhaps, if more small businesses did cross-promotion efforts, you would see less of this behavior, which could be intimidating to some drivers. Determining ways to share customers can actually help expand everyone's reach. Success doesn't mean that you must beat-out everyone related to your business. Sharing the limelight may actually build better customer relationships for everyone and build your brand for long-term success. God bless!